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Sunday, May 3, 1998 Published at 17:31 GMT 18:31 UK

Meet the BBC Team
Brazil 1950

Brazil's impact on the last World Cup, 12 years before, earned them the right to host the new Jules Rimet Cup. As football entered a new era, the host nation anticipated victory, but Uruguay stole the show.

Who played?


For England the "glamour of victory" over Scotland sent them to the World Cup [41'']
After a 21-year exile, the four Home Countries were finally eligible to participate, having rejoined FIFA. Only England and Scotland qualified, but the Scots refused to accept their qualification as runners-up rather than British champions and stayed at home.

Thirteen qualifiers joined the host nation in the finals, with the teams split into four groups - two of four teams, one of three teams and one of two teams.

What happened?


[ image: Billy Wright swaps gifts with the USA]
Billy Wright swaps gifts with the USA
Brazil, Spain, Sweden and, inevitably, Uruguay won their groups and went on to play a round-robin series of matches to decide the champion. The Brazilians destroyed Sweden 7-1 and Spain 6-1. Expecting victory, the nation got ready to party.

Their final match was against the competition's inaugural winners, Uruguay, whose draw against Spain and 3-2 defeat of Sweden left Brazil needing just a draw to win the trophy.

Despite taking the lead, Brazil lost their way. Uruguay equalised then scored a second goal to give them the cup 11 minutes from time.

Any lasting memories?

A record crowd of nearly 200,000 fans watched the final in the ambitious new Maracana stadium. Unfortunately, defeat was too much for the Brazilian officials and they forgot to present the trophy to the winners.


Tom Finney on the defeat of the English side by the US: "You wanted the ground to open up and swallow you" [46'']





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Uruguay 1930

USA 1994

Italy 1990

Mexico 1986

Sweden 1958

World Cup History

Switzerland 1954

Spain 1982

Brazil 1950

France 1938

Mexico 1970

England 1966

Italy 1934

Argentina 1978

Germany 1974

Chile 1962

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